The 10:00 a.m. advisory for Tuesday is down and with it a slight lean to the west as the National Hurricane Center picks up on the latest trend from Tuesday morning's model data, but this west lean still has southwest Louisiana squarely in the cone.
Please do not get complacent with this storm even a storm that trends west in terms of landfall will still produce significant, life threatening impacts across south Louisiana they are not confined to the forecast cone.
The jog to the west though isn't the only thing that stands out with the new track, but it seems that Laura will reach major hurricane status even earlier which in turn is going to produce higher totals with regards to the storm surge.
Storm surge warnings remain in effect for the entire Louisiana coastline and the western half of Acadiana is now under a Hurricane Warning from Acadia Parish to the west, and from Lafayette Parish to the Baton Rouge we will be under a Tropical Storm Warning.
This simply means that hurricane/tropical storm force winds are now expected in those areas with in the next 36 hours.
While the westward shift may help with winds in eastern Acadiana, there will still likely be power lines and trees down with loose limbs blown around, the wind damage will steadily increase to the west.
Unfortunately because of the way the hurricane is approaching the coast it is going to force water into a part of the coastline that won't allow water to disperse, allowing for major a pile up of water along the coast.
Expect widespread flooding that will be an extreme risk to both life and property along the entire Louisiana coastline, even for areas along the Vermilion Bay storm surge totals will be possible in the 7-11 ft. range.
It's hard to overstate just how catastrophic this kind of storm surge can be and I would urge residents in voluntary evacuation zones along the coast to consider leaving, currently model data is indicating that salt water may reach as far north as highway 90.
Now a pull to the west is going to also pull some of the strongest winds and heaviest rain to the west as well, but again that doesn't mean that we won't see our share of strong winds and potential flash flood inducing rain.
Winds are going to vary paced on the exact placement of the center of circulation but all of Acadiana can expect wind gusts of around 60+ mph, with 90+ mph gusts for western portions of Acadiana, sustained winds will vary from 20-45 mph for eastern Acadiana, and increasing to hurricane force winds ranging from 50-80 mph in western Acadiana.
These number could change based on the placement of the low, and if the system drifts east again expect those numbers to increase.
As a whole Acadiana is looking at on average 3-6" of rain area wide, however, when rain bands begin to set up and train across the region rain totals can reach up to a foot if not more, causing flash flooding and filling the rivers and bayous.
The next update is due out at 4:00 p.m. and we will have the latest information for you here on KATC so stay tuned for further updates.
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